2019’s summer of cricket continues and this time, it’s a later-than-usual Ashes series. This is due to England hosting the Cricket World Cup, but the knock-on does mean that for the first time ever, two Ashes tests will be held in September (it has happened just once before, in 2005). With British weather being what it is, neither team will want to go into those tests behind on the score, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Australia won the last series at home in convincing style, beating England 4-0. However, they have not won on English soil since 2001 and will be facing the World Cup Champions. That’s not to say that England are coming into the Ashes unassailable and filled with confidence – they were almost dismantled by Ireland last week and only a catastrophic batting collapse saved their blushes. Both teams are evenly matched in terms of both skills and flaws, so it should be an exciting test!
England vs Australia Predictions
Despite the fact that both teams are so close, England have the slight edge going into the first test. This is likely to be due to the fact that they won the Cricket World Cup, despite the fact that both teams had one win apiece during the tournament. Fitness is a bit of an issue for England: it’s been a long summer, and the test against Ireland, while necessary to get everyone in a test match mindset, probably hasn’t helped.
Australia have not had a warm-up game and so might be in slightly better condition. As always, the weather is the third party in all this, and showers are forecast for at least the next three days. The umpire will be Kumar Dharmasena, the man who may or may not have unfairly handed England victory in that incredible World Cup final, but the chances of those circumstances being repeated are exceptionally remote.
England vs Australia Betting Tips
- England to regain the Ashes – 4/5
- Steve Smith to be Australia’s top 1st innings Batsman – 9/4
- Australia to have 1st innings lead – 1/1
- See all of our Ashes betting options here.
England vs Australia Head to Head
- As mentioned above, you have to go back to 2001 to find Australia’s last Ashes victory on English soil. They won that series 4-1. The last time they lost four tests in the UK was in the 19th.
- In Australia, it’s a different story. 5-0 in 2006/7, 5-0 in 2013/14 and 4-0 in 2017/18. That said, the Aussies haven’t always had it their own way. England won 1-3 in 2010/11.
- As well as the first test of the Ashes, the Test Championship starts this week as well. This is a two-year cycle, with teams winning or losing points during a test. The two highest-scoring teams will meet in June 2021.
England Team News
For the first time in Ashes history, players will have their name and number on the back of their shirts. Chuck Berry/bad pun fans will be thrilled to see Joe Root will be wearing his traditional no. 66. England are keeping their batting order from the Ireland test, with Roy and Burns opening, and Joe Denly likely to be third. Jofra Archer is still recovering from an injury sustained in the World Cup and so won’t be featuring in the first test – instead, seam-bowler Jimmy Anderson comes into the team.
England team: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes
Australia Team News
This test sees the return of the Cape Town Three – David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft – who are available for the first time since their ban in 2018. Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne and Paine will be holding up the middle order, and these are the guys that England’s bowlers will be targeting. However, Australia’s bowlers are no less terrifying, with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins all eager to send the bails flying for England.
Australia team: Tim Paine (capt & wk), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner